A few links to Vikings-centric stories for you today, plus some commentary by me.
* The National Football Post's Andrew Brandt had an excellent piece on the financial decision the Vikings will have on their hands in 2013 in the wake of Adrian Peterson's severe knee injury.
Brandt makes a great point in this post. The contract extension Peterson signed this summer could end his career with the Vikings prematurely – assuming he is able to play again. That's because NFL management can't afford to be sentimental with the hired help. Since entering the league in 2007, Peterson has been an elite player, one of the NFL's biggest stars, the face of the Vikings franchise and a model citizen off the field. Those attributes are certainly worth a lot. But if the Vikings are paying Peterson elite running back money in 2013 when he is no longer elite, then – as Brandt points out – they have a problem. You can't be paying a good running back $11.25 million a year. If, in 2013, Peterson is merely good instead of great, he will have to agree to a pay cut to stay with the Vikings or get cut and shop his wares somewhere else. I hope it doesn't come to that.
* For a bit of good news about Peterson, check out Peter King's Christmas Day edition (scroll down the page a bit) of his regular "Monday Morning Quarterback" column where injury guru Will Carroll emailed King and wrote that ""There's no reason to believe Peterson won't be able to come back at or near the same level."
* More Peterson injury news. I'll link to two different views on Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier's decision to play Peterson on Sunday. Christopher Gates of the Daily Norseman has his opinion (he thinks the people who are crying about Peterson playing in this game are silly). But Vikes Geek has an opposing view.
I side with Gates on this one. I enjoy Vikes Geek's commentary, but he's often the king of 20-20 hindsight. The Washington game has been meaningless for weeks now, yet I didn't read any NFL expert or Vikings blogger hollering loudly prior to this game that Peterson should sit it out. But now that he's suffered a potentially career-altering injury, naturally you have people saying they would have done things differently.
* I'm torn about Christian Ponder's availability for the season finale against the Chicago Bears. I think it's somewhat important that Ponder get one last shot to have a good showing in his rookie season, especially now that plenty of people are no longer drinking the Ponder Kool-Aid. It would be nice for him to head into the offseason on a positive note.
But I'd also like to see Joe Webb – who has been dynamite in relief of Ponder – play a full game. I've got serious reservations that Webb can be a successful NFL quarterback. So I'd like to see how he does when the opponent is gameplanning for him – like the Bears should be this week. If he starts and plays well, the Vikings will probably have a bit of a QB controversy on their hands. I think that's good though. The better Webb plays, the more it pushes Ponder to be better and the more Webb's (and maybe Ponder's) trade value goes up. The Vikes need to look at the assets they have that are expendable and how they can turn them into other assets that can fill the numerous holes this team has. And there is no asset in football more valuable than a quarterback another team thinks is good – unless you have two quarterbacks another team thinks are good.
* On Tuesday the NFL's Pro Bowl selections were announced and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was the only Minnesota player to be named to the team.
But in a column assessing the Pro Bowl selections, CBS Sportsline's Pete Prisco writes that linebacker Chad Greenway and center John Sullivan "just missed" making his Pro Bowl team. In the case of Greenway, good Lord, what Vikings games has Prisco been watching? Yes, Greenway has a ton of tackles, but anyone who has watched him each and every week knows he's had a poor year by his standards.